It has been said that “Dhyanam nirvishayam manah” or that state of the mind where there is no Vishayas or sensual thoughts is meditation. Meditation can be defined as a continuous flow of the God-consciousness just like the continuous flow of oil, i.e. Tailadharavat. In this, all worldly thoughts and pleasures are shut out from the mind and it is filled with divine thoughts, presence and divine glory.
It is the regular flow of positive energy in the body and mind with regard to concentration and follows it throughout. Meditation is the seventh step in the ladder of Yoga and is known by many names. For the Yogis it is Dhyana, for the Jnanis it is Nididhyasana and for the Bhakts it is called Bhajana. The major steps of practicing Yoga include Yama (Self-Restraint), Niyama (Religious observance), Asana (Posture), Pranayama (Restraint of Breath), Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (Concentration), Dhyana (Meditation), and Samadhi (Super consciousness state or union with the Supreme self).
Meditation is basically two types that include Saguna (Concrete) meditation as well as Nirguna (Abstract) meditation. In the concrete form, the Yogi meditates on the form of Lord Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Hari, Gayatri or Sri Devi. On the other hand, Abstract meditation is for concentrating the whole energy of the mind on a single god and keeps aside all memories and ideas.
“Tatra pratyayaikatanata dhyanam” or a continuous flow of positive and divine thoughts is known as Dhyana (meditation). In this there is a continuous current in the mind of like the flow of water in a river (Pravaha). There is only one Vritti in the mind known as Ekarupa-Vritti-Pravaha. As Lord Jesus says, “Empty thyself and I shall fill thee”. It is exactly what Patanjali Maharishi teaches as, “Yogas-chitta-vritti-nirodhah”. Yoga is the restraining of all the mental functions in the mind making it disciplined and with continued practice, one can master this.